Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lallybroch.. Lallybroch.. Oh Lally Lallybroch..

SPOILER ALERT: Dinna read unless you have read the first few chapters of Part 5 in OUTLANDER or CROSS STICH.

Strap yourselves in, lassies. This is a long one. And I've already cut it down. Lorddddd the Gathering. 

Let me start by saying that I am enjoying Lallybroch soooo much more this time around - and I've only been there 3 days. So that says something, right? But now that I've done it twice, I can honestly say what bugged me the last time; and is still bugging me today.

I really don't like the ARRIVAL at Lallybroch at all. Maybe it's because the story is in first person - and I read it as if I'm Claire. And certain things offend me. And yet what offends me doesn't seem to bother Claire in the least.

(Interesting side note; the dogs. Claire thinks there are 12 at first - only to realize there are 4 - once they've calmed down and their tails start to wag. And it signifies a prelude, if you will... a sign of things to come. Seemingly rabid dogs outside the house; one seemingly rabid dogs inside the house. Appearing larger than life - but really just standing barely five feet tall. And this dog's name is Jenny.)

OK so let me get on with it.... here's what truly irks me:  I don't like the fight. I dinna like it at all. I get the fact that they can't just walk in and hug Jenny and all will be right with the world. I get that. When Jamie left - some years ago - he was dragged out and Jenny was about to be raped in the house. That's traumatic any way you slice it - so of course there is going to have to be some type of drama when the prodigal son finally arrives back home again. But the fight? It goes on way too long. Jamie's not stupid.  He should have figured out that Jenny has not spawned with Satan long before he did. The miscommunication factor seems almost like it's right out of Three's Company. I'm half-expecting Jack Tripper to show up and fall over something - while Chrissy's hiding behind the couch and Janet's standing there, wide eyed. The fight just drags.  LIKE THE GATHERING! Lorddddd the Gathering!!

Was it great when Jenny grabbed Jamie's junk? Absolutely hilarious (although slightly unnerving). Do we see how feisty and intense they both are? Yes. Do we see how much they love each other? Yes. To the point where we half expect them to start making out like Greg and Marcia in the Brady Bunch Movie... but yes, we do see how much they love each other.

So. Here is how I think the whole thing COULD have gone down:

Jenny: Jamie!
Jamie: Jenny!
Jenny: I'm so glad you're home!
Jamie: You're with child ya harlot daughter of a wee bitch!
Jenny: Oh, SHUT IT, Jamie! I married your friend Ian while you were gone! Both kids are his! Randall didna lay a hand on me because he's not into vajayjay. It's all good!
Jamie: Get OUT?!  That's awesome Jenny. Now let me introduce ye to me new bride, Claire. Fine lookin' sassenach wench, is she not? Sassenach, please FORGIVE ME for leaving ye standing there.
Claire: Oh no worries, Jamie. Jenny, it's nice to meet you. May I have a new dress, some shoes, a handful of bannocks and a comb? And if it's not too much trouble, maybe some L'Heure Bleu? 
Jamie: (whispering under his breath) Claire, ye left your own time, lass.
Claire: Oh right, sorry! Just the comb would be fine.
Jenny: Oh absolutely! Claire, it's lovely to meet ye. I always knew Jamie would find a good woman one day...

But instead, we have to go through ten or so rounds of tiring - although hilarious - insults between Jenny and Jamie. And yes, yes, I get it... we have to see how tumultuous their relationship is, yet how much they love each other. But....and this is a big BUT...

They just leave Claire standing there! For a LONG time! In her dirty clothes! And no shoes! To the point where she takes herself outside and wanders around! I would be MORTIFIED!! Hell the DOGS were more welcoming for god's sake! Jenny's mad - I get it. Jamie's mad - I get it. But COME ON, MAN! She just gave up her husband - hot baths - and everything she knows for YOU, Jamie! Any sane woman would need a little more reassurance that she did the right thing! She is extremely important - and you just leave her standing there while you're being a complete MORON! Hell, my FIVE YEAR OLD can tell that Jenny didn't have a baby with JACK RANDALL!!  WAKE UP! And Diana even says at one point that Jamie seems to have forgotten Claire is even there! I just canna stand for it. I won't... I canna be gentle about my negative feelings about this scene. 

And then - even the next day - it's still uncomfortable. We never see Jenny be welcoming to Claire. We never see Jenny truly welcome Claire into her home. We just see her yell at Jamie and yell at Ian walk in on Claire and Jamie... and sit there and make small talk with Claire. (Which is brills, by the way. I love how Diana shows you what each is saying - and what each really means. You can FEEL the awkwardness in that scene. It gives me chills and brings back memories of meeting boyfriends' families back in the day.)

One thing I absolutely loved the 2nd time around - and Tracey will appreciate this - is the scene where Jamie tells Claire that he married her for love. I didn't understand the first time I read it that he's saying he immediately loved the touch of her hands and the feel of her against him... and it was dark... so he didn't know what her face looked like... but it COULD HAVE looked like a sheep's for all he cared because the rest of her was so fine. Don't get me wrong - I'm not a moron. The first time I read it, I KNEW he was just being a wiseguy while telling her how much he loved her from the beginning. But I thought he was saying her face DID look like a sheep's...not that I thought he meant it... and... I dunno... I was just put off by it. I guess I kindof felt like "Geez this poor woman shows up at this house - gets a less-than-stellar welcome and basically has to fend for herself with the high-strung sister since Jamie's gone all day - and then when they DO get together, he quasi-insults her by being cute. BUT - now that I've read it again - and read it correctly - I totally get it. Thank god for the reread!


  1. Och, dinna fash lass--I knew ye'd come to your senses re: sheep face.

  2. Good form!

    I almost felt like they just ENJOYED fighting! There were so many times where instead of setting the record straight right away, Jenny just would antagonize Jamie even more! WTF?

    Love your version of how it shoulda went down!

  3. LOL megs I just answered you on a different post comment and said I knew you'd like my post. I was writing it and thinking "Oh boy I'm going to get pushback on this one". But it's true. Come on now! End the fight! Hell I half expected CLAIRE to step in and say "Oh for god's sake, Jamie, it's not Randall's kid, get over it!" It just - I dunno - kindof took away from Jamie in a way... because it made him look borderline stupid. There's a difference between pig-headed and completely unable to listen to explanation and reason. It WAS like they enjoyed fighting... and like they enjoyed each other a little too much. Jenny's jealousy is a bit of a CREEP-FEST in my opinion. Flowers in the Attic, much?!?

  4. Tracey I canna BELIEVE how much I love the sheep face scene now. I just reread it and I'll probably relisten before I go to bed. I TOTALLY misunderstood the first time. I knew he was kidding - but I thought it was inappropriate to joke about her HAVING a sheep face. I didn't know he was saying it was dark so he couldn't see her face. DUHHHH Carol. How'd I miss that? I even TALKED TO YOU ABOUT IT - at LENGTH!!!

  5. Carol, it's a total creep fest. That's why I get grossed out sae much when Jenny grabbed Jamie’s rocky mountain oysters!

    I know Claire had just met his family only twa seconds before Jenny emasculates Jamie in front of his new bride- and Claire is wanting to make a good impression to the family (apparently Jenny is not of the same mind of making a good impression, just showing Claire that Jamie is hers!). But I half expected Claire to be like, what the hell do you think you're doing to my husband?! I supposed she was too stunned to say anything!! I would be speechless if I saw that!

    1. Loved the way Jenny got Jamie's "attention" Not typical sibling behavior but effective since neither of them is listening to the other.

  6. Great rewrite, I agree with much of it.
    The whole Jenny/bad manners thing dinna bother me till read this :( now I'm fashed. It did seem to be a territorial thing, YUK. On later pages Jenny does appear to accept Claire but maybe that is just because Claire is kinda sucking up to her and trying to fit in. I dinna ken. Jenny redeems herself when she leaves her newborn to help Claire start her search for Jamie. I can't decide if I like Jenny or not. You are right about Jamie too, where were his manners?

    My memory is fuzzy, at this point has Jamie told Claire he loves her with any seriousness? Any passion? If I missed it tell me where it is, I want to see it. It is sad if the first/only time Jamie told Claire he loves her, he also says she looks like a sheep, kidding or not. I can only hope some things are said off the pages.

  7. Yeah... never been on team Jenny. I get it, you're stubborn and you love your brother.

    Jamie, if you are confessing your unequivocal love for someone, don't compare them to livestock... Obviously one of the inexperienced Jamie's favorite analogies as he also used it on their wedding night to explain his concept of love-making. "Oh I canna wait to undo your laces and take you like I've seen all those sheep, horses and cows taken from behind!!" Yes, his innocence was cute, but I didna need to ken about the snakes two cocks anh how much she-snake enjoyed it!

    Finally, why did Jenny have to interrupted a potentially awesome and passionate sex scene I was dying to read?

    Rant done!!

    Jessica :-)

  8. Weel, I must admit that I didna remember much of that scene until you began taking about it yon blog post above. The rememberance of the Fraser insults bring me to laughter e'ery time.
    I agree, I wish that there could've been a point where Jenny got to officially welcome her new sister in law.
    But oh well. No love lost.
    Do be keepin up on the posts, they bring a smile to me face each time!

  9. Hey Carol - (LOOOOOVE the new look, by the by! So, what is this beautiful place we're seeing so much of, anywho? And is that a little golf ball on a tee in the lower left corner?!)

    I also love your re-write of the Jamie/Jenny scene. I agree that it seems that the two of them like fighting way too much. I have a brother and, granted, I didna raise him like a son since I was 10 years old, but we don't fight like that at all... Isn't it cute how Ian just comes home and sits down to talk to Claire and is like, 'well, let them go at it for awhile yet' and then calmly goes in and puts a stop to it. I love that wee Jamie looks like his Da! Ian is da bomb!!

    I think, in light of later events, that it is clear that Jenny NEVER really accepted Claire and it really makes me wonder. I mean, Murtagh had been back to Lallybroch at this point, right? Maybe he told Jenny about Claire and the stones? OOOO... another question for the GN to answer?

    Oh, and, yeah, I'm peeing myself a little that you 'know' David B. (yeah, like who can spell that last name, or even pronounce it, anyway?) I am a HUGE Bones fan and my claim to fame is that I've met Kathy Reichs, the real-life forensic anthropologist that writes the books the show is based on. Good God, woman, between the two of us we've practically got the whole show covered! What's really funny is that Kathy is EXACTLY as socially awkward as Bones is on the show, even though that doesn't come across in the books - which are written in the 1st person. The series writers incorporated that aspect into her character's personality anyway. It's a hoot!

    OK, yeah, gotta go!
    We're chatting Mon, right?

  10. Just wondering what "va-jay-jay" is in Gaelic?? (Many thanks to Shonda Rhimes for adding that bit of slang to our vocabulary)

  11. I have really enjoyed the posts here. I used to have a rule about never rereading books because there are so many to read. However, I almost constatly reread/relisten to the Outlander books. There is just so much to keep track of...and we all love it!
    Jenny is someone who has never left her home area. People like that never trust outsiders. They take a LONG time to get to know them before they trust them. I think Jenny grudgingly accepted Clair but never completely.
    I agree about the argument between her and Jaime. Maybe DG dragged it on so that Claire could mee and talk to Ian...the argument is the backdrop and also a way of providoing information about Jenny and Jaime's relationship...??? What do you think?

  12. I wasn't as bothered by the Jenny/Jamie fight (I thought it brilliantly illustrated how irrational Frasers get when they're spittin' mad), but I LOVED your version! Especially the "Claire, ye left your own time, lass"!

  13. Megs - "rocky mountain oysters" = hilarity. I plan to use that twice in a sentence today. And you are so right - that's my point - Claire never EVEN MET the family! She was brought into the room and made to stand there while Jamie and Jenny argued. And Jenny even referred to her at one point... but never introduced herself. I kept waiting for Jenny to walk over to Claire and shake her hand or something. SOMETHING. ANYTHING other than totally ignoring her. I wish Jamie had told Claire to wait outside or something. Honest to god I would have preferred that.

    L - You rock, woman. I couldna have said that any better, myself. Jenny warmed up to Claire - and eventually treated her well enough - but never initially welcomed her into the family. Claire was on her own. Jamie, I could almost understand, because that's how guys can be. "Claire - this is Jenny...hey Ian let's go fishing!" I had to fend for myself when I met my husband's large family so believe me; I get it. But for Jenny to just ignore Claire during the fight - and then make her "work for it" - that bugged me. And yes - Jenny was KICK ASS when she left to go help find Jamie. But once again - Jenny only seems to put herself out for Jamie. Creepfest, party of 1?! Where are Marcia and Greg when you need 'em?

  14. Jessica - I almost peed my pants at this: "if you are confessing your unequivocal love for someone, don't compare them to livestock". That may have to go on Facebook. And ANOTHER good point: Why does Jenny think it's OK to just walk in on Claire and Jamie and throw around her opinions about them getting splinters in their arses? Hey Jenny! How's about a big old steaming cup of SHUT THE EFF UP??? Who does that? I would have walked in - saw them - and backed out of the room slowly and quietly. But not Jenny. Jenny has to come barreling in and throw her opinions around. I think she's secretly in love with Jamie. I think I have to post about this.

    Miranda - thanks! I giggle quite a bit whilst typing them. That's why I love the chats. Everyone is giggling together simultaneously! :)

    Christie - I love that you met her!! I love the character on the show so I'm sure I would love her. I try not to be socially awkward - LOL - but I do appreciate her directness and matter-of-factness.There are times in life when you just feel like "Oh god now I have to be all nice and spare this person's feelings but really he/she is being a dumbass." LOL I would have to look up Boreanaz - let's see how I did: YES! I did it! I usually do look it up. That's how I found out he had made it big in Hollywood. One night I had the TV on in another room and heard "Tonight on _____, David Boreanaz" and was like "DAVE BOREANAZ! FROM MALVERN?!" There just can't be that many guys with that name walking the earth. LOL

    Anonymous - that is your job today - find out what vajayjay is in Gaelic! I will so post that on the blog! LOL!!!!

    Loredana (love your name, by the way) I think you are right about Jenny not trusting outsiders. What's funny is that I personally think Jenny would have had better manners than that. You also make a good point about Diana having to get info out and using the argument to do it. And she also made us understand Jamie/Jenny's fierce loyalty to each other. I just wish it hadn't been done at Claire's expense. ALSO - you just gave me a great idea for a blog! Maybe I'll start one where I just talk about different books I'm reading - in addition to Outlander. I'm sortof in a literary purgatory until Book 8 comes out... might as well make the best of it!

    Jo - you have no idea how I giggled while typing that. The other night I watched something like "Not Another Teen Movie" and was in hysterics. I have to admit that the thought of an Outlander parody makes me giggle profusely. What is SAD about that is there hasn't even been a movie yet and I'm already planning the parody! ;)

  15. Carol-- Jenny walking in on J/C--just be glad she didn't have a bucket of cold water, aye? ;-)

    Seriously tho, her comments didna bother me. I don't think J/C were really getting busy--they were both laughing hysterically from the previous scene. I got the sense that Claire was being pinched and tickled to within an inch of her life.

    I also have to say that I got a kick out of the whole Jamie/Jenny fight--I saw it as more comic relief than anything. Don't forget that we had just been through quite a huge emotional upheaval with Claire and Jamie. The Jamie/Jenny reunion had the potential to be quite emotional as well, which might have been just too much trauma to handle, so I think DG chose to play it humorously to a degree.

  16. All I know is this: I'm on the floor with Jamie Fraser and he's holding me down and pinching my ass? Anyone who walks in that room and interrupts is one dead mofo. Srsly.

  17. luv the "the fight scene 2.0"!!!!!!! and i luv the "married u for luv" scene. so endearing!! rereads of outlander always bring new insights and revelations. however, i dinna envy anyone rereading the gathering..... lorrddd the gathering :-/

  18. Wait, back this train up. Carol, you know David Boreanaz???!!! My roommate and I are slightly obsessed with Bones and drool just a wee bit (okay, that's an understatement) when he is on screen. Do tell!

    If you've already explained this somewhere else, just email me the link! ;)

    Yet another reason to love My Outlander Purgatory!

  19. LOL Jo. Dave Boreanaz went to Malvern Prep in Malvern, PA. I didn't "know" him - but he was friends with guys in my circle - and everyone knew who he was because his dad is Dave Roberts - greatest weather man who ever lived. Seriously. He is majorly beloved in Philadelphia.

    I used to see Dave B at my school's football games... and he'd be standing there talking to friends of mine... etc. The most I ever got was a "hi" when we walked by each other...not because he wouldn't have talked to me, but because I was a complete wuss and terrified of him because he was "Dave Roberts' Son".

    I think I mentioned this so forgive me - but he used to have the total preppy big boy haircut and he wore the typical ski jackets that we all wore with those huge collars back in the 80s.

    One thing that always make me laugh is his name on the show; Booth. I used to know a total wiseguy whose last name is Booth - and he went to Malvern with Dave B. I'm sure he had nothing to do with naming the character... but it's just amusing to me to think about this guy all these years later.

    And that is my long-and-drawn-out story about Dave Boreanaz in highschool.

    Stay tuned 'til tomorrow when I'll wax on about Will Smith being in my freshman class. ;)

  20. Carol said: ....everyone knew who he was because his dad is Dave Roberts - greatest weather man who ever lived. Seriously.


    Two words: Jim O'Brien.

    That is all.

    (Apologies to the non-Philly residents!!)

  21. You dare to type the words "Jim" and "O'Brien" together in one sentence? My god, woman! Next you'll be daring to look RPattz directly in the eyes!!!

    PS - Was J.O. a weather man? Wasn't he a newscaster?

  22. I think he eventually became a jack-of-all-trades (including radio DJ), but he started out as a weatherman. You might not remember the newscast on the day he died, when they finally did the weather, it was literally heartbreaking.

    For those not from Philly, Jim O'Brien was a TV personality during the 70s/early 80s--he was killed in a skydiving accident in 1983 or 84. WAY traumatic for us locals, esp. when--maybe 3 hours after it happened, the news team had to report it on the news. Seriously, other than 9/11, it still ranks as the most heartbreaking, awful thing I've ever witnessed on TV.

    (And coincidentally, J O'B also had an offspring that became a TV star--Peri Gilpin from Fraser. OMG I JUST READ THAT AS I TYPED IT!!!! FRASER!!!!)

  23. I just stumbled upon your videos and blog. You crack me up!

    I have just re-read the entire Outlander series, and love that someone else gets so into the series, too.

    Love your homecoming scene. You are sooo clever...and hilarious!

    For the record, Jenny creeps me out, too. I did not appreciate Jamie's, shall we say "bond" with her. I wanted all of his affection, devotion, and respect to be directed at Claire...not Jenny. The brother and sister were a little too familiar for my taste.

    It almost seems to me that Claire is rather insecure, seeking love and acceptance, and is willing to take whatever she can get. The first time I read it, I thought she and Jamie were much closer at this point in the story. But, upon re-reading it, I see how fresh and "immature" their relationship still is. They've only been together a few months, and are just working up to telling each other they love one another.

    Speaking of them loving each other, I still don't know who said "I love you" when they were both out by the fence, and Jamie was telling Claire that she had yet to say the words. At the end of the chapter, it just said, "I love you." Did they both say it together, or did she finally say it by herself? Or, did he say it alone?

    It's funny. The first time reading Outlander, I thought Jamie was much more mature. But, scenes such as the one where he comically talks about what he loves about Claire, along with the sheep face comment, show just how young and immature he is when expressing his feelings. His immaturity is also highlighted when he didn't introduce his wife to Jenny, but left Claire to her own devices.

    The second time around, Jamie just seems so much more inconsiderate toward Claire, toward her feelings, her needs, her wants, and to what she goes through, than he did the first time I read it. Claire is always trying to help him through his "stuff", but he doesn't seem to give as much to her. (Well, besides risking his life over and over again throughout the series. Okay, I'll give him that.)

    And Claire seems much more insecure, to me, the second time around. And, I guess it all goes back to the idea that Claire, for all her strength, determination and knowledge, is still a scared little girl looking to belong to someone, to feel safe and connected with someone...namely Jamie. Afterall, she was an orphan who floated around with her uncle on his expeditions, which caused her to never feel truly "rooted" or "anchored."

    Well, that is my two cents worth. Keep up the good work!


  24. Welcome Danette! You just put into words exactly how I (didn't realize I) feel right now after reading Outlander for a second time. Last night at chat - I even said how, now that I've reread Outlander, I miss the older Jamie at the Ridge. I think that's because of what you're saying; their relationship is still so new at this point. Even though there aren't as many hot and steamy parts in the later books, their love has grown and matured... and you feel how devoted they are to one another. I never would have guessed I'd end up feeling this way; I thought they were so perfect during my first reading of "Outlander"!!